Indian Village Home and Garden Tour & Six Tabs for Riverfront

A friend in Indian Village invited me to the Home and Garden Tour in her neighborhood via Facebook.  Curious about one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city, I Goodsearched (vs. Googled) the event.  The website is just as lovely as the neighborhood.  I have never ran across men’s and women’s clubs in neighborhoods until late.  I don’t think the Riverfront Towers - where I live – has such a thing.

The Men’s and Women’s Garden Clubs in Indian Village look like they are contributing to their neighborhood and city through discussions, volunteering, and scholarships.   I love especially the people who have contributed their names and history with the neighborhood as “Realty Resources.” 

I don’t know that I could trade my life sans lawnmower for a home, but I do love attending parties at the beautiful old homes.    

If I were to break the Riverfront Towers into the 6 most important tabs they would probably include:

-          Delicious pizza from the Signature Grille

-          Deliciously impossible soups from the Signature Market

-          Amazing Riverfront Festivities (Red Bull Air Races, Boat Races, Fireworks, Marina Boat decorating party)

-          Thursday night Karaoke (beware, there is some serious talent – clearly I am not singing) at the signature bar and grille

-          The cutest puppy watching

-          The covered access to the People Mover

Not very concise, but it is hard to be short with the things you love.

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Detroit Wig Out

Live music is such an amazing part of Detroit life.  Most of the acts that I go to see are at the Magic Stick.  The Detroit Wig Out is on June 12th and the Hootenanny version is on the 13th.  Here is an opportunity, yet again, to experience some good music as well as the added bonus of living out a lifelong dream: being a red head.  I have always had an overwhelming desire to be a red head, which I attribute to my childhood admiration of the Little Mermaid and Anne of Green Gables.  I once dyed the tips of my hair, but never had the nerve to go all the way and have to explain why an Indian girl decided red was her colour.  I am trying to decide if I want to go Saturday night or borrow my niece and go for the Wig Out Hootenanny on Sunday.  Either way, I need to locate a red wig.  I have always wondered about the wig shop on Woodward, downtown, I may start there.

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Boost Blackberry Blogging in Detroit

I love my new toy: a Boost Mobile Blackberry, from which I am blogging right now. I love being connected for $60/month vs. $120. I have been with Boost for almost a year now and I am so thrilled Blackberry is on board.

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Detroit Census Triplication

It was a canvas bag that inspired me to fill out my Census Form, well that was what planted the seed.  I participated in a charity fundraiser walk where Census volunteers were handing out reusable Census 2010 grocery bags.  Then the little white cards started coming in the mail.  Finally, the Census Form arrived looking plump and daunting.  A friend mentioned how the excess space would only be required if you had 12 members in your family.  The comedians at the show at Bakers a couple of weeks back also encouraged all of us to fill out our forms with all of our family members to ensure that Detroit receives the funding it is entitled to.  Yesterday, when I went to pick up the mail and the mailbox area was strewn with Census forms.  I was upset to think that the residents in my building didn’t care until I opened my own box and saw two more Census forms staring at me.  Per the Census website, you are only supposed to fill in the form which contains the correct address.  I had to take it a step forward and mailed back the blank triplicate forms with a note indicating that these were not the correct address.  I wonder how many other people this has happened to.


In Love with a Detroit Grocery Store: Aldi

I am in love with a Detroit Grocery Store: Aldi. http://www.aldifoods.com/

Well it is actually an international grocery store chain; however, two locations exist in Detroit proper and many in the Metro area. I would be so bold as to say that Aldi changed my life in actually making eating well a financial possibility. It is hard enough to make ends meet and food isn’t something that you can easily cut down on – I tried.

I usually frequent the Aldi at Mack and Alter – their staff is the most fun and friendly – or the one in Highland Park. The food at Aldi is delicious, includes some hard to find imports, the stores are clean, food is cheap, and Aldi offers a no-nonsense shopping experience. There are very few shelving units and not too many choices. Most of the food is stored in their original shipping containers. This makes getting in and out of the store with all you need about the same time as it would take to cross a parking lot at a superstore. It is environmentally conscious in that you may use empty containers to carry your food out, they charge for paper and plastic bags so you are more likely to bring your reusable bags with you to the grocery store.

I really hope that they open one in downtown Detroit very soon.

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10 Critics Detroit + Electronic Music Museum

My husband is the only reason I know anything relatively substantial about electronic music. As one being courted, of course I decided to feign interest in techno, where otherwise I would never give it a chance. I am so glad I stuck it out – with him and with the techno :0)

I have done the Electronic Music festival two years in a row now, and we will likely hit it up every year forever. What I did find out about my husband was that he was a raver kid and I was a wannabe skater kid, so during our early 20s, both of us donned phat pants, ties, and sweater vests which now come out once a year for tech fest.

Ever since I visited the Motown Museum, I have often thought that a Techno Museum would be the perfect fit for the city. Looks like I don’t have to look too far. It looks like the owners of 10 Critics will be fundraising at some point for a new museum. http://www.10critics.com/Schedule_47XQ.html

10 Critics is a new club in Corktown with an eerie 1400 glowing in red off Porter. We showed up for the event on the 26th. Unfortunately the headliner was caught up in a snowstorm in New York. The space is so very appealing to me – black, drenched and accented in red paint and lighting. It is simple with the dance floor framed from the rest of the bar. You would have to see it. I tried to find 10 of something. I could only come up with the red lights above the bar. If the square/wavy bar had the flap at the entrance, it would have been 10.


Detroit Needs a Hostel: Step One – Announcing the Dream

Pittsburgh thinks Pittsburgh needs a hostel – http://pittsburghhostel.org/.  They have been successful in rallying the support of 600+ facebook fans, and hold 100+ people fundraisers.   The dream was announced by Nathan in a blog post in 2007: http://clicknathan.com/2007/09/23/pittsburgh-needs-a-hostel/

I think Detroit needs a hostel too.  I wonder how many other people think so.  It looks like we have announced some dreams through:

Metromode has ideas for urban ramblings and how a hostel in the Detroit region could be beneficial.  Readers of the Detroit Free Press suggested an international hostel downtown Detroit.  Metroblogging – that’s me  :0) back in 2007 – expressed the need for a variety of different types of lodging downtown, including hostels.  A Transit Riders United competition finalist designed a hostel around the existing Amtrak Station in New Center.  I love this idea because entrances to cities are so important.  Does Detroit’s entrances make someone want to stay and explore?  

The dream has been put out in the universe.  Now let’s look at reality.  Will a hostel make it in Detroit?  What does it take to build a hostel in Detroit?  Run a hostel in Detroit?  Attract visitors to Hostels in Detroit? 

I don’t know, but I am going to find out one blog post at a time.  If I can’t use this aggregated information, I hope someone can.  Anything you can offer to Detroit hostel dreamers would be much appreciated.  Just comment on any of these hostel posts.    

Potential second steps:

- Envy Pittsburg’s logo and make an attempt at a logo

- Document history of hostels in the city

- Research tourism in the city

- Research laws in the city to get a hostel up and running in the city


Confessions of a Detroit Weight Watcher

A couple of Halloweens ago, I decided to join Weight Watchers through a program at work. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. The system, the meetings, the support – all great. I was convinced I would never be one of the “second-time-rounds.”

Here I am, two years later, on the second time around. I stopped my initial meetings because they were cancelled at my office. I now work at home downtown and am so very happy to have started up again at the Weight Watchers in the Harbortown Plaza.

Apologies to all Detroit Restaurants – I am the one who orders nothing and eats off my husband’s plate. I do make up for it in tips.


Marygrove College + Costa Rica

For the past few weeks I have been attending Marygrove College as a Continuing Education student. I have blogged about how much I love the architecture and cultural events that take place there, and now I have even more to add to that list. I am taking an Interdisciplinary Seminar class on Costa Rica, where we are studying the history, culture, geography, and environment of Costa Rica. We will be doing a 10 day trip in March, after which we apply our first hand experience to the research that we have been conducting prior to the trip. I did my undergrad at the University of Western Ontario and grad school at Wayne State – during this time, the factor of “class size” meant nothing to me, so classes ranging from 50 to 600 people were just fine and normal to me. Now, I could not think of a better experience than my 11 person class – with two professors – at Marygrove.

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Spaceman of Detroit

Spaceman of Detroit

He clanked down the sidewalk beside East Grand Blvd. His armor was handcrafted from discarded urban debris. As he spotted me he left the sidewalk and began to walk down the middle of the street muttering to himself in a charming schizophrenic way. His hands had blades jutting out between the knuckles. Some looked fake, like tin foil wrapped around plastic, but one was a hefty metal shank.


Detroit Yoga

I have been doing Yoga on and off at the Boll YMCA for the past three years now. I remember when I took my first yoga class, it was during a yoga course I took through Wayne State. The class was held at a run of the mill college gym. I thought it a very un-inspirational place to partake in such a spiritual practice; however, I was hooked after the very first class. I remember looking in the mirror and not seeing myself, but seeing Indian classical dancers I had grown up watching. I also remember how determined I was to hold and strike poses despite excruciating pain. Today, I also practice in a gym, but a lovely one at the YMCA with a city view; however, I also now know that fancy surroundings are not what make a yoga practice. Tuesday nights are very calming, spiritual, and you are eased into some intense poses you never thought you could make. Tuesdays and Thursdays at lunch are torturously athletic, mat drenching, and I lose all sight of the spirituality until I reach the end and am shocked that I survived. I love my Detroit Yoga and I love everyone who makes it out each week to share both the spiritual and the athletic.

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Happy 2010 Detroit: Thank you for the Cheese and Bread

I never thought that I would be celebrating 2010 in Detroit. I actually rang in the new year in Florence, Italy this year on my honeymoon. I was very happy after a backpacking whirlwind honeymoon to come back home to the D. Eating delicious cheese and bread and sipping on lovely European cappuccino for two weeks really makes you appreciate places like J. Hirt in Eastern Market or Avalon in Midtown.

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Scrappers Eat the Packard Plant

I spent the day on a wonderful urban exploration jaunt with a fine upstanding graffiti artist. We met and explored the acres, 35 to be exact, of abandoned factory known as the Packard Plant.

The plant has seen better days. The inevitable and unstoppable scrappers are devouring the structure. Driving rusty pick-up trucks with unstable trailers and armed with torches the secretive workers are removing the support beams. I am no structural engineer but I suspect this may accelerate the natural spiral of decay.

This is readily visible in the numerous imploding warehouses and sagging bridges. Few, like two, businesses soldier on in the decaying buildings. Unfortunately, this awesome relic of manufacturing might has caught the eye of movie editing hack Michael Bay. He’s hoping to distract movie watchers from his lack of a plot or even simple continuity by blowing the Packard Plant up.

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The Hard Lessons RELEASE partayssss.

If you missed the Hard Lessons’ Release show&partay at the Belmont last night, you can still catch them at Smalls tonight in Hamtramck and Saturday at 4pm @ the Lager House in Detroit.  Not only do i expect to hear the fabulousity that is their new release, the Hard Lessons will also be playing with great bands on both nights.

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It Came from Detroit

Last night i saw “It Came from Detroit” at Brew & View in Ferndale.  For the ignorant Detroit music fan (in this case, me…) this Rock Doc reignited a lot of pride that i had let stew underneath for the Detroit music scene.  Honestly, i had little clue about the bands who were interviewed, besides seeing their names in Ads for weekend shows at the Magic Stick, or in Hamtramck.  i really had only listened to the White Stripes and the Von Bondies.  After realizing what creativity and passion the bands unbeknownst to me have put into their music, my respect if miniscule before, is now immense.

This “garage band scene” roughly from the period of the mid 1980s to the early 2000s, bred some fiesty creativity and characters.  The Documentary tells it like it is, letting the gritty Underbelly of the Detroit Rock scene bask in the sunlight, getting a more attractive bronze.  By the end you are glorifying the grit in your mind, wanting more passion and inspiration to be seen at any venue, so you can at least TRY to capture a snipet of energy the movie reveals to you. This energy was not born out of greed.  It is clear in the docuementary that the incentive “to rock” is to find the nirvana one attains in the creative process, with other like minded, supportive folks.

It is nice to see the positive people and ideas that have come, and continue, to come from Detroit, since we are in a time when the great majority of media focuses constantly on the negative.

you can still see this badass doc at Brew & View TONIGHT, THURSDAY doors open at 8 and the film starts at 9.30.

CHECK IT.


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